If you are anyone you know has ever been sprayed by a skunk, had a pet sprayed by a skunk, or have hit a skunk with your car, you know how strong the odor is and how difficult it is to get the odor out.
Hopefully you’ll never the following information. Just in case, you might want to keep it handy.
How To Neutralize Skunk Odor
To neutralize or deodorize skunk spray, the chemicals in the secretion must be changed to a different type of molecule. Tomato juice does not work (see below for explanation).
For Pets that have been sprayed, bathe the animal in a mixture of 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from the drug store) ¼ cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and a teaspoon of liquid detergent. After five minutes rinse the animal with water. Repeat if necessary. The mixture must be used after mixing and will not work if it is stored for any length of time. DO NOT STORE IN A CLOSED CONTAINER- it releases oxygen gas so it could break the container. This mixture may bleach the pet’s hair.
For buildings, decks, etc., a solution of liquid laundry (CloroxÒ bleach (1 cup per gallon will work. CAUTION – THIS MAY BLEACH THE BUILDINGS, DECKS, ETC. Try it on a small area if bleaching may be a problem. The bleach must come in contact with the spot where the secretion was sprayed. Repeated applications may be necessary for large amounts of the skunk spray. DO NOT USE THIS ON PETS.
It will not work for skunk spray that has drifted over a large area or is trapped in a house. Time and adequate ventilation will help in this case or you might consider contacting a professional restoration firm that should be able to expedite the odor removal
Why tomato juice is believed to eliminate skunk odor: bathing an animal in tomato juice seems to work because at high doses of skunk spray the human nose quits smelling the odor (olfactory fatigue). When this happens, the odor of tomato juice can easily be detected. A person suffering olfactory fatigue to skunk spray will swear that the skunk odor is gone and was neutralized by the tomato juice. Another person coming on the scene at this point will readily confirm that the skunk spray has not been neutralized by the tomato juice.